Why does Jeff have a bad rep?

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AuthorTopic: Why does Jeff have a bad rep?
Apprentice
Member # 5015
Profile #0
I did ia search of Jeff Vogel on these boards and the majority was people on here coming down pretty hard on Jeff. He doesn't seem to be too popular here (on his own boards :P ) I'm wondering why?

I'm a wannabe indie game developer, and have downloaded Jeff's demos, read all the info on his neat links, read all the ariticles on irony central, and the great articles in the Shareware Developers Resource. All of this gave me quite a high opinion on the man. However, I find not many here feel the same...
Posts: 10 | Registered: Friday, September 24 2004 07:00
Shake Before Using
Member # 75
Profile #1
The support he offered for BoE was in many ways less than exceptional - and, at times, less than acceptable.

So far, however, I believe that he has been quite supportive of the BoA community.
Posts: 3234 | Registered: Thursday, October 4 2001 07:00
Agent
Member # 618
Profile Homepage #2
This, http://www.ironycentral.com/cgi-bin/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=7;t=001519 is a good example.

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Aut Tace Aut Loquere Meliora Silencio
Posts: 1487 | Registered: Sunday, February 10 2002 08:00
Off With Their Heads
Member # 4045
Profile Homepage #3
The Lyceum is a pretty good source for this sort of information.

Jeff's description of BoA (from well before it came out)

Alcritas's response to his description

Is Jeff guilty of mail fraud?

Also, a quick comparison of SW's description of the status of bugs in BoE and their intentions vs. some Lyceum descriptions (1 2 3 -- and there are more) is instructive. Jeff's response and the community's response to him is also rather interesting.

Not to mention a more recent event, and of course, the link to Shyguy's sadness above.

Yes, the community's relationship with Spiderweb has always been, well, an interesting one. I don't think I'm going to encourage any of my friends to buy their games anymore.

EDIT: Bottom line, Jeff has been rather poor at supporting Blades of Exile, and many of the BoE players and designers are pretty irritated with him about that. That's the source of the majority of the hostility.

[ Friday, September 24, 2004 10:43: Message edited by: Kelandon ]

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Arancaytar: Every time you ask people to compare TM and Kel, you endanger the poor, fluffy kittens.

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Posts: 7968 | Registered: Saturday, February 28 2004 08:00
Guardian
Member # 2238
Profile Homepage #4
People don't like his lack of support and supposed "not listening to the community". Apparently he cuts stuff off and doesn't follow through with promises. But hey, it's a lot more than you'll get from big-name developers.

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Posts: 1582 | Registered: Wednesday, November 13 2002 08:00
BANNED
Member # 4
Profile Homepage #5
Not true, and pointless even still.
(If Brett's testimonies are correct, then the makers of NWN are very supportive to their design community- updates and everything!)

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Posts: 6936 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00
Guardian
Member # 2238
Profile Homepage #6
I didn't say ALL big-name companies.

Try to get EA to take a suggestion. Valve however, still updates its 6 year old game. Just depends on who's in charge.

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The critics agree!

Demonslayer is "a five star hit!" raves TIMES Weekly!

"I've never heard such thoughtful comments. This man is a genious!" says two-time Nobel Prize winning physicist Erwin Rasputin!
Posts: 1582 | Registered: Wednesday, November 13 2002 08:00
Off With Their Heads
Member # 4045
Profile Homepage #7
For having chosen to support a small shareware company, we get the reward of being insulted personally rather than ignored entirely. Forgive me if I hardly see this as an improvement.

To some extent, I think the hostility towards Jeff can be a bit excessive, but it certainly is not entirely baseless.

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Arancaytar: Every time you ask people to compare TM and Kel, you endanger the poor, fluffy kittens.

Kelandon's Pink and Pretty Page!!: the authorized location for all things by me
The Archive of all released BoE scenarios ever
Posts: 7968 | Registered: Saturday, February 28 2004 08:00
Shock Trooper
Member # 3022
Profile #8
In short, they are all bitter at being not as rich and famous, and not being smart enough to code their own engines.

</flamebait>
Posts: 269 | Registered: Saturday, May 24 2003 07:00
Agent
Member # 4506
Profile Homepage #9
The general feeling of these boards are that Jeff is a loser, comes from the BoE designers, who don't like him for not upgrading BoE, and the fact that if anyone DOES want to say anything good about Jeff, they don't dare, since most of the mods are with the BoE designers.

- Archmagi Micael

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Posts: 1370 | Registered: Thursday, June 10 2004 07:00
Guardian
Member # 3521
Profile #10
quote:
Originally written by FZ:

In short, they are all bitter at being not as rich and famous, and not being smart enough to code their own engines.

</flamebait>

see pygmalion plz

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Stughalf

"Delusion arises from anger. The mind is bewildered by delusion. Reasoning is destroyed when the mind is bewildered. One falls down when reasoning is destroyed."- The Bhagavad Gita.
Posts: 1798 | Registered: Sunday, October 5 2003 07:00
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Profile Homepage #11
Micael, are you insinuating that the big, bad BoE designers are a posse that won't allow Jeff to be popular?

Jeff basically ignored BoE entirely after the 1st Contest, except for when he shat all over the community's chest with Bandit Busywork.

Any disrespect he gets for that is reciprocal, and likewise will be the respect he gains for implementing the changes suggested for BoA.

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Posts: 6936 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00
Bob's Big Date
Member # 3151
Profile Homepage #12
quote:
Originally written by Archmagi Micael:

The general feeling of these boards are that Jeff is a loser, comes from the BoE designers, who don't like him for not upgrading BoE, and the fact that if anyone DOES want to say anything good about Jeff, they don't dare, since most of the mods are with the BoE designers.

- Archmagi Micael

I am going to keep this quote around for five years from now so I can whip it out when Jeff's current golden boy has fallen into the same gutter he kicked BoE into.

BoE is readily the best RPG-making game out there, and I will stick by that steadfastly. Easy to use, with a sort of 2d retro charm which it and the Exiles have made their own. Jeff Vogel did not do a perfect job of it. That is why he patched it twice or so and then ignored it from then on out.

He then proceeded to sit on community efforts and offers to fix problems, junior programmers who offered to fix the various evil bugs that still plague BoE. Avernum is now his cash cow, and probably a damned easy one, too. They were direct conversions of the Exiles, with only a very few changes made. And people lapped them right up. Nowadays every idiot around says that Exile is too primitive, ugly, whatever, and that people should play Avernum instead.
Avernum shows that his games are not unlike any other RPGs on the market because he wants them to be, but because he couldn't do any better. He wants to make NWN. He wants to be EA. He just doesn't have the means. The heart is not there.

Then came Blades of Avernum. The BoE designing community had been laboring for years around Jeff's mistakes in BoE, and had turned the scenario into a well-crafted art form. A language all its own, with its old masters and new. They petitioned for changes.

Jeff Vogel proceeded to behave as if he had read about RPGs in a Japanese magazine.

He said he wanted to make sure any strategy worked, so the ability to change around spells or add new ones would be unfair. Making tweaks to the damage system or adding physical resistance would be unfair. 'If I want to hack through a scenario with a Conan character, I should be able to.'
It showed that not only had Vogel not listened, he hadn't even played any BoE scenarios of merit. He was used to dealing with an inferior design community; Tatterdemalion et al. were inferior to Exile in programming, story, and length. 'At The Gallows' would be an addition the Exile trilogy would be flattered to have.
Jeff Vogel does not know this. Nor, by any indications, does he care.

He proceeded to inform BoE designers that they were not considered paying customers. And whenever he received mail from PAYING CUSTOMERS, they told him about how fun the hack&slash was in Exile. So he was listening to PAYING CUSTOMERS.

This is a man who wrote into the BoA readme that it would be possible to create a fun scenario without scripts.

You say big companies don't care about their customers like that? Bull. EA is one big company, and they are to big companies as Jeff is to indie designers. Paradox is reasonably big and they regularly collaborate with committees of concerned players and designers to improve their games. They consider it a community service. They're still putting out patches for Europa Universalis II, which was made years and years ago. The latest one was only a couple of months ago, in fact.

Firaxis? Regular chats with their players. They don't fart unless their players tell them that's what they want. That is what makes Sid Meier great; yeah, he has a pretty good grasp of what works in a game and what doesn't, but he got that through listening to what people want instead of telling them what they want.

In 2003, Jeff Vogel told the BoE design community what they wanted. These are the people who helped BoE become what it is. If they were not present, BoE's sales would be 10% of what they are. He treated the designers who disagreed with his decrees as something besides paying customers.

Maybe if he cared more, he would be more beloved in the community. Maybe if he listened more, the love-hate complex would stop and he'd be the superhero he was to us when BoE was new.

Maybe he's too busy with Geneforge 3. We'll probably never know.

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Posts: 2367 | Registered: Friday, June 27 2003 07:00
BoE Posse
Member # 112
Profile #13
quote:
Originally written by FZ:

In short, they are all bitter at being not as rich and famous, and not being smart enough to code their own engines.

</flamebait>

That has a certain amount of truth to it, but not much. Many of us are better designers than Jeff is. Not that we're looking for fame and riches, but it does hurt that he disregards our suggestions pretty much out of hand. It also hurts that he basically says "BoE? That old thing? Who cares about that now? If you want a bug-free system, play BoA (which isn't either)!" There are still masterpieces being made with BoE. Surprisingly, BoA hasn't put much of a dent in the number of new scenarios being made. I think more BoE scenarios have been made since BoA came out than BoA ones. So the pretty much complete lack of support it's getting stings.

Keep in mind, most of us aren't necessarily interested in game design as a career. We do this as a hobby. But even so, when a bug stops us from pulling off a way cool scene, it still hurts to be told "Players haven't asked for the editor bugs to be fixed, so I won't fix them." Especially when players have asked.

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Posts: 1423 | Registered: Sunday, October 7 2001 07:00
Shock Trooper
Member # 4214
Profile #14
Spiderwebsoftware is working extremely hard for such a small company, in my insight. I can understand that Jeff Vogel has little time to listen to his customers and fullfill their wishes.

However, I can also certainly understand the anger and hatred for Jeff from the other members.
I've spend nearly 2 months working extremely hard to design an epic level for Warcraft III now. I would feel very depressed and embittered if something would keep me from releasing my map.
Posts: 356 | Registered: Tuesday, April 6 2004 07:00
This Side Towards Enemy
Member # 3098
Profile #15
quote:
Originally written by Archmagi Micael:

If anyone DOES want to say anything good about Jeff, they don't dare, since most of the mods are with the BoE designers.

- Archmagi Micael

Makes sense. After all, when one is a moderator on a company's board, you are obviously going to stamp down hard on anybody praising the good work said company is doing.

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Voice of Reasonable Morality
Posts: 961 | Registered: Thursday, June 12 2003 07:00
Babelicious
Member # 3149
Profile Homepage #16
quote:
Originally written by Mind:

Spiderwebsoftware is working extremely hard for such a small company, in my insight. I can understand that Jeff Vogel has little time to listen to his customers and fullfill their wishes.

Then what the hell is he doing running a business?

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Posts: 999 | Registered: Friday, June 27 2003 07:00
Skip to My Lou
Member # 40
Profile Homepage #17
I just quietly enjoy his games. :)

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Posts: 1629 | Registered: Wednesday, October 3 2001 07:00
Law Bringer
Member # 335
Profile Homepage #18
He's making money. From his perspective, that's all that matters.

—Alorael, who doesn't agree with this view. On the other hand, he understands it. The strange superiority and condescension is the inexplicable part.
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
Agent
Member # 618
Profile Homepage #19
I would like to be the first to say w00t! Go Alorael with the biggie 8000!

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Aut Tace Aut Loquere Meliora Silencio
Posts: 1487 | Registered: Sunday, February 10 2002 08:00
Mongolian Barbeque
Member # 1528
Profile #20
In my opinion, the very fact that Jeff reguarly produces such great games is more than enough reason for me to praise him up one side and down the other. I just can't understand why so many people are critical of him. Just enjoy the games, people!

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Posts: 907 | Registered: Monday, July 15 2002 07:00
Off With Their Heads
Member # 4045
Profile Homepage #21
That statement marks you as not a Blades player, Icshi. I think the same thing as you do about all of his other games. Prior to getting involved in Blades, I thought that Jeff was a pretty cool guy for making all these wonderful games. Now I'm a little more frustrated with him.

But I don't hate him the way that some others do.

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Arancaytar: Every time you ask people to compare TM and Kel, you endanger the poor, fluffy kittens.

Kelandon's Pink and Pretty Page!!: the authorized location for all things by me
The Archive of all released BoE scenarios ever
Posts: 7968 | Registered: Saturday, February 28 2004 08:00
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Member # 4
Profile Homepage #22
You aren't as frustrated with him, Kel, because you haven't been a Blades designer for over 4 years- the medium is great and the community does a far better job than Jeff could for many things, but having nonexistent company support is irritating.

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Posts: 6936 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00
Master
Member # 4614
Profile Homepage #23
quote:
Originally written by FatBatMonkey:
Go Alorael with the biggie 8000!
No kidding! Congrats Alo! And you're not even going to start a new topic on it? After all, it's never been done before. ;)

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Posts: 3360 | Registered: Friday, June 25 2004 07:00
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*grumbles incoherently about the iB*

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